Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
the few are ever found open-hearted, willing to heed when he is pleased to speak. Effort may be made to recognize the reasons for so strange a fact. They lie in men's moral dispositions, and hindering circumstances or prejudices. The mention of two or three hindrances may suggest a complete analysis of men's motives.
I. SOME MEN ARE SCEPTICAL. Their sphere is the strictly natural, and they find instant objection to every claim belonging to the supernatural. They are born doubters, and too often foster and culture their infirmity, as if it were a dignity or a gift. The special mistake such men make is to demand too much evidence - evidence of unsuitable character, and evidence such as they may be pleased to think would satisfy them. They want natural evidence for supernatural truths or facts, and wonder that no sign can be given them, and fancy themselves justified in refusing to believe. There is one very easy thing, that even a child can accomplish; it is this - find excuses when we do not want to obey.
II. SOME MEN ARE MASTERFUL. They like to have life in their own control, and cannot do with God's interfering by messages and commandments. Such men are sure to resist God's messengers and ministers. The response to pastors, who point out to such men the will of God concerning their daily life, is still what it has ever been' 'Talk on your abstract things, but leave my life alone. God's messages always, in one form or another, humble the pride of self: and this few men can bear, so they resist the messenger.
III. SOME MEN ARE EASYFUL. God calls to some doing, some duty. It may be putting away sin; it may be rendering some witness; it may be going the long journey back to Jerusalem, and helping to build the old wastes and raise the former desolations. And men prefer the comforts of Babylon, even if they are in slavery and know the defiling contacts of idolatry. Only meek, open, willing, and obedient souls believe that which they hear, and see the arm of the Lord made manifest to them." The best things are ever kept for meek souls. - R.T.
Break forth into joy.I. CONSIDER CERTAIN CHANGES WHICH SHALL HAVE TAKEN PLACE AMONG THE GENTILES OF CHRISTENDOM, AT, OR ABOUT, THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE JEWISH NATION IN THEIR OWN LAND (Matthew 13:24-30). The signal destruction of all false, hypocritical, unbelieving professors of religion, here called "the children of the wicked one" or "the tares;" and, secondly, the gathering in of the elect members of Christ's mystical body, or the gathering of "the wheat into the barn."
II. THE BLESSING WHICH THE JEWISH NATION WILL PROVE TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH. It appears that the plan and purpose of God, as revealed in His Word, is, after having finished the dispensation of the Gentiles as He finished the dispensation of the Jews, and having "concluded all in unbelief," the period will then arrive when, according to the language of Paul, "He will have mercy upon all."
III. THE NATURE AND DURATION OF THIS BLESSING.
1. As to the nature of the blessing. This is nothing more nor less than a true and saving conversion, terminating in salvation. Not a bringing of them back to the state in which Adam was before his fall; not a grafting them into the mystical body of Christ; but a true, a sound conversion from all that is evil, and the full enjoyment of God s great salvation.
2. As to the duration of this blessing. With reference to converted individuals the effect will be eternal: but there will be a limit to this state of things as to the nations of the earth.
(H. McNeile, M. A.)
I. GOD'S PEOPLE WILL HAVE THE COMFORT OF THIS SALVATION; and what is the matter of our rejoicing ought to be the matter of our thanksgiving.
II. GOD WILL HAVE THE GLORY OF IT (ver. 10).
III. ALL THE WORLD WILL HAVE THE BENEFIT OF IT. "All the ends of the earth," etc.
( M. Henry.)
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